City says ‘hundreds’ of immigrant families to be reunited in Albuquerque

The City of Albuquerque says hundreds of immigrant families separated at the border are expected to be reunited in Albuquerque.

The city confirms a local refugee group is preparing to house the families for a few days.

Mayor Tim Keller got the call from Lutheran Family Services late Friday night, asking for the city’s help to get ready for these families. Now, the community is stepping in to help.

“A lot of people are coming here with nothing except the clothes on their backs. They’ve been in detention centers for who knows how long,” said Grace Homer, a volunteer.

Homer and dozens of other volunteers are packing backpacks full of travel-sized toiletries, clothes, snacks and water.

“An army of volunteers has been here working all day filling these backpacks,” said Michelle Melendez, the Director of the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

Melendez says Mayor Tim Keller got a call from Lutheran Family Services late Friday night, asking for the city’s help to prepare for hundreds of immigrant families.

“These are some of the families who have been separated at the border,” said Melendez.

Last month, President Donald Trump’s ‘Zero Toleration Policy’ ordered ICE to separate children from their parents after they were caught trying to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump has since reversed that policy, but there are still hundreds of children not back with their families.

The city of Albuquerque confirms, around 250 of those children will be bussed to Albuquerque and reunited with their families at Lutheran Family Services at Silver and Montclair.

According to the city, LFS is the group directly working with ICE to get the children here. They refused an interview with KRQE News 13, but the city says LFS needs donations.

“We made a fire station available so we could help collect donated items,” said Melendez.

The city is asking donations be brought to Albuquerque’s Fire Station 2, off I-25 and Gibson.

Right now, they say they need gift cards and backpacks the most.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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